Kansas City: Revving Up the Market for Cajun


Mark Drouin operates the Cajun Cabin food truck, which can often be found serving up Cajun food on Hospital Hill photo courtesty of TAMMY LJUNGBLAD

Transplanted New Orleanians are Mark Drouin’s toughest critics.

Drouin is owner of Cajun Cabin

(cajuncabin.org, and on Facebook and Twitter), and you can find his brick-red truck parked at Hospital Hill over the lunch hour, roughly 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., several days a week, depending on weather.

Drouin was born and raised in the Crescent City and returned shortly after Hurricane Katrina to work for Central City Missions, a nonprofit serving low-income residents living a mile from the Superdome.

photo courtesy of TAMMY LJUNGBLAD

To aid with the ministry’s fundraising efforts, he bought a concession trailer and started making “big pot” meals to serve at events.

After he moved to Kansas City in 2009, he became homesick for the food he grew up with. He thought about event catering but wound up buying a food truck instead.

On a chilly February afternoon, zydeco music wafts from the order window. Drouin wears an apron with an alligator on it, and his menu includes such bayou standards as jambalaya, shrimp creole, shrimp chowder and gumbo.

If you’re still undecided, go for the “Jumbo,” his term for gumbo and jambalaya in the same cup.

When the weather is warmer, Drouin cranks up his sno ball machine. That’s New Orleans-speak for snow cones.

“There is just a tremendous market for Cajun food in Kansas City,” he says.